Do you have air conditioning?

If so, you need to be aware of your legal responsibilities under The Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007.

Does the legislation apply to me?

This legislation requires that all air conditioning systems with an output of 12 kW (these are fairly modest systems) or higher be inspected by an accredited 'energy assessor' and an energy performance report produced.

All such systems, including commercial premises, public buildings and domestic premises, must have an inspection and it is the responsibility of the 'relevant person' to ensure their system has been inspected. A relevant person is typically described as 'the person who has control of the operating system' which could mean the landlord of a property or the tenant.

To clarify your own position, click here to view the Regulations.

 When is the inspection needed?

All systems with an output of over 250 kW should have had their first inspection by 4th January 2009.

All systems with an output of over 12 kW installed after 1st January 2008, should be inspected from the 5 year anniversary date of the system installation.

All systems with an output of over 12 kW installed prior to 1st January 2008, should be inspected no later than 4th January 2011.

After the initial inspection, the system is required to be inspected at regular intervals not exceeding 5 years thereafter.

How does this work?

The energy assessor will inspect the system and produce a written report which is passed to the relevant person at the earliest opportunity. The report includes an assessment of the efficiency and sizing of the system, compared to the cooling requirements of the building. It will also contain advice on possible improvements, replacement and/or alternative solutions.

The relevant person must retain the most recent inspection report until a new report is issued.

If the relevant person changes (e.g. the building is sold/the tenant moves out), the report must be passed onto the new relevant person. If not, it is the new relevant persons responsibility to ensure the system is inspected and a report produced no later than 3 months from the date of handover.

Failure to produce a valid report will result in a fine of up to £1,000. However, new levels of fines are shortly to be introduced and are expected to increase.

How can we help?

A number of insurers now offer statutory air conditioning efficiency inspections. Please let us know if this service is of interest to you.

(03 November 2010)

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